The Redeemer’s Feast (Festa del Redentore in Italian) is one of the most pictoreque and traditional feasts in Venice. Its history dates back to 1577 to celebrate the end of a massive plague outbreak that decimated the population of all Europe. Venice was not immune to the contagion and counted more than 50,000 victims among the population so that the Doge Alvise Mocenigo vowed to erect a temple in thanksgiving to the Redeemer. The design of the famous architect Andrea Palladio was chosen. The first stone was placed on May 3, 1577. The church dominates the Giudecca landscape and is a reflection of Palladio on all existing Renaissance architecture, the attempt to reconcile the Christian church with all the elements of the classic temple.
Today, the Redeemer’s Day is certainly the most important moment for the city of Venice and for its inhabitants who gather on the bank of the Giudecca already in the morning to find a place in the tables traditionally arranged to dine outdoors. The island of Giudecca is united in Venice via a bridge of floating platforms that can be traversed until 10.30 in the evening. The bridge ends symbolically in front of the facade of the Redeemer’s church. Towards the evening the San Marco basin is attacked by all types of boats decorated with lights and festoons. On board, they serve the traditional dishes of the party: pasta and beans, marinated sardines, roasted stuffed duck, wine, dances and music until the highlight of the feast: the pyrotechnic explosion of fireworks. The scenery is superb: Venice is celebrating itself by a rite that is always the same since July 21, 1578. At the end of the “fires” all boats go spontaneously to the Grand Canal or reach the Lido to wait for the Sunrise on the beach as tradition wants. The next day is the time of religious celebrations in the Redeemer’s Church and the remixed competitions that always accompany this day.
Saturday, July 20
7.00 p.m. – Opening of the votive bridge connecting the Zattere waterfront with the Chiesa del Redentore (Church of the Redeemer) on the island of Giudecca and presentation of the Venetian regatta boat crews
11.30 p.m. – Fireworks display in St. Mark’s Basin
Sunday, July 21
4.00 p.m. – Regate del Redentore (Regattas of the Redeemer) – Giudecca canal
7.00 p.m. – Votive Mass at the Chiesa del Redentore on the island of Giudecca